Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
  Mercury VERADO 150-HP Shift Fault--Actuator

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   Mercury VERADO 150-HP Shift Fault--Actuator
rplow posted 11-20-2009 07:06 PM ET (US)   Profile for rplow   Send Email to rplow  
[Seeks others who have experienced] a problem with a "shift fault" error [on a Mercury VERADO 150-HP engine.] My mechanic identified it as a problem with the shift actuator, which is a $1,400 repair. Ouch.
sosmerc posted 11-20-2009 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
Isn't your engine still under warranty? If not, I would still take this up with Mercury Consumer Affairs and request assistance.
jimh posted 11-21-2009 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Does the Mercury warranty cover these electrical components?
Feejer posted 11-21-2009 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
What year is the engine? You need to supply us with more info
Scott Grey posted 11-23-2009 05:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Scott Grey  Send Email to Scott Grey     
I believe i received a letter from Mercury that there are some 150 Verado models with a recall depending on year for that problem. Some are not going back to neutral when shifting back to neutral (NOT GOOD!) I would do some digging on this one!
glen e posted 11-23-2009 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
As sos said above, call mercury at 920-929-5040 with your serial #. No digging necessary.
Robert V posted 11-24-2009 06:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
There was a recall on this, I received a notice in the mail after I purchased my 205 CQ. My motor is an '08 model, fortunately the dealer had already performed the recall work. I posted some information about the recall on this site, a search should turn-up some more information about this topic. Let me know if you need more information, I still have the recall notice in my file. You can also short-cut the process by following Glen's instructions and call Mercury or you local Mercury dealer. They will input your serial number and let you know if your motor is part of the recall.


jimh posted 11-24-2009 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Robert--If you have posted information on this topic you are welcome (indeed encouraged) to give a link to the information, wherever it is, as long as it is accessible from the connected internet.

ASIDE: There is absolutely no problem with linking to off-site resources. We just do not appreciate suggestions that a discussion in progress here ought to be terminated and moved to other websites, or off-hand suggestions that an answer might be found somewhere else with no precise pointer, simply on the basis that another website might contain information on the topic being discussed.

jimh posted 11-24-2009 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Also see:

2007 Verados, OptiMax with DTS

Robert V posted 11-25-2009 08:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     

There was a mis-understanding, I was not directing anyone to another site. I posted information about the recall affecting my motor in a reply on this site. I just can't remember topic heading on which I posted my reply. I think Glen E and yourself helped me out with some clarification with regard to the recall notice. Sorry for the confusion.

Anyway, in reply to the OP, I looked up my recall notice. There is an Outboard Service Bulletin 2008-06 mentioned in the text of the recall notice. The problem is identified as a "lever fault alarm which will create an audible six second tone and generate a fault pop-up on the VesselView or other Smartcraft instrument, if so equipped." The notice goes on to state the fault can be cleared by turning the motor off and waiting for "15 minutes" before re-starting the motor. I hope this helps and your motor is covered under the recall, I sure would'nt want to come out-of-pocket for this repair.

Robert V

Robert V posted 11-25-2009 09:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robert V  Send Email to Robert V     
I found the old topic in which this was discussed (looks like I hi-jacked the thread!), it is "Price on new 2006 210 outrage" dated 9/02/09. There are links in the replies which show the recall notice, as well as another thread/topic that is linked with some information. I am not able to provide the direct link to the topic above.


Buckda posted 11-25-2009 12:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda
jimh posted 11-26-2009 04:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here is some information regarding a recall on the DTS system used in some Verado engines, October 2008, I don't know if this affects your engine or is related to your shift fault actuator problem, but might be of interest in this discussion:

--from a prior posting in THE GAM--

Mercury Marine appears to have initiated a recall of their outboard motors which have the Digital Throttle and Shift electronic control option in order to correct a software error would could cause the operator to loose control over shifting of the engine. This apparently was deemed sufficiently dangerous that the recall is being made as required in the Federal Boat Safety Act. These letters apparently began to be received last month, September 2008 [according to some discussion on SEARAYCLUB.COM]. The heading of the letter announces that it is "OFFICIAL NOTIFICATION OF FEDERAL BOATING SAFETY ACT RECALL."

The problem is apparently a software error in the embedded code of the DTS System which can cause loss of control over the engine and could result in personal injury. When the software error occurs the engine becomes locked into the gear it was in and can no longer be shifted to another gear--unless the engine is shut off for 15 minutes. The 15-minute shut off will clear the software error and return the engine to normal shifting. However, the error can occur again if the shift-throttle level is moved to the same position which caused the error initially.

The precipitating cause of the error is described (not in the formal letter but in some on-line discussions) as being due to a problem with the potentiometers in the electronic remote control.[This is mentioned in discussion at SEARAYCLUB.COM]

It also appears [again according to some discussion on SEARAYCLUB.COM] that the problem with digital throttle and shift (DTS) software and with electronic remote control (ERC) potentiometers is not limited to outboard motors, and it may also affect some sterndrive or inboard motors which use these same DTS components.

I do not have a copy of the letter from Mercury, but as best as I can tell, it says:

--Transcript follows--CAUTION--not official document--


Dear Mercury Outboard Owner,

Thank you for your purchased of a Mercury SmartCraft Digital Throttle and Shift (DTS) engine. Mercury Marine is dedicated to providing superior customer reliability and superior customer satisfaction. As part of our commitment to superior customer satisfaction, we have determined that your outboard must be recalled under the Federal Boat Safety Act so that we can perform an inspection of the DTS system software.

Mercury Marine has identified that the DTS system may encounter the level fault alarm which will create an audible six second tone and generate a pop-up on the VesselView Screen or other SmartCraft instrument if so equipped. When this fault occurs, the Guardian strategy will limit throttle to 65% of available power and the shift position will remain the gear location the engine was in when the fault was triggered. The shift function will not be available when called for by the electronic remote control (ERC). You will not be able to shift out of your current gear position when the above fault occurs and the Guardian is active.

To clear the fault and reinstate shifting, if safe to do so, shut engine or engines off for 15 minutes and restart engine or engines as needed. The ERC may or may not trigger the same fault if the ERC is again positioned to the same throttle demand position. It is advisable to operate the engine or engines, if possible, below the demand position where the fault occurred until corrections can be made. The correction should be performed as soon as possible because the potential loss of control could result in personal injury.

Mercury Marine dealers can perform an inspection of your DTS system for the correct system software. Mercury Marine has provided instructions to our dealers on the proper method of correcting the DTS system software if required.

Please contact your Mercury dealer and mention Outboard Service Bulletin 2008-06 to schedule an appointment to have this inspection performed on your DTS system. Your dealer will be able to determine how long this inspection [and] correction will take. This inspection [and] correction should be completed as soon as possible to prevent any loss of shift condition from occurring.

Please present this notice to your dealer when you bring your boat in for your service appointment.

Please contact your Mercury Outboard dealer or call Mercury Outboard Customer Service at [unclear] between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. CST.

We have sent this notice in the interest of your continued satisfaction with our product, and we sincerely regret any inconvenience this may cause you.

Thank you for boating with Mercury Marine.

Mercury Marine Service


Typically the recipients of these official notification of federal recall are those owners in the manufacturer's records, but as often happens--and as frequently mentioned here--not every engine is properly registered with the manufacturer. This means you might have an engine with the defect but may not receive an official notification. I think it is prudent to check with your dealer to see if your engine is among those affected.

(Originally posted in

rplow posted 12-03-2009 07:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for rplow  Send Email to rplow     
Thanks everyone.
The motor was put in service in July 2006. I spoke with Mercury and they said very politely that it was out of warranty.
I've got Marine Max talking with Merc customer service. So far they haven't decided whether they would help out or not.
I will post their response.
Once again, many thanks for the input.
jimh posted 12-03-2009 09:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the update. Yes, out of warranty is out of warranty, and it is not unknown for outboard motor gear cases to require repairs. In general any repair to the gear case of an outboard motor is costly, so in that light, an estimate of $1,400 is not surprising. On the other hand, if the repair is just to some small electrical actuator or solenoid, a $1,400 charge does seem a bit much.
number9 posted 12-03-2009 09:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
Those electric shift actuators are $1200+ parts. One of the downsides to "modern" technology.
hauptjm posted 12-11-2009 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
$1,200.00 Wow! Assuming a new Verado 150 cost $10,500, these actuators cost over 10% of a complete motor. Someone's got something wrong! Either Mercury is absolutely ripping off consumers, or we're pricing the wrong part. If it's the former, I'd scream bloody murder as an owner.

I seem to recall a while back we discussed the cost of adding DTS to an Optimax and the cost ran somewhere around $2,000.00. That being the case, just order the whole shibang, and use it for parts: it will cost less in the long run.

Feejer posted 12-11-2009 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Feejer  Send Email to Feejer     
I'm very glad I have a 5 year warranty

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.